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Cinemocracy

In the early 1940s, the United States government commissioned some of the best filmmakers to create propaganda in support of the war effort. The works of the most famous of those directors, John Ford, John Huston, Frank Capra, and William Wyler, are the subjects of this collection. In contrast to today's environment (where many politicians think of Hollywood as the devil and most contemporary political cinema targets the government as irrational and inequitable) in the 1940s, everyone appeared to be on the same side. The films in this collection are examples of Cinemocracy, the relationship between motion pictures and government. These films are from the personal collection of Eric Spiegelman.

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Cinemocracy
by William Wyler
movies
eye 1.2M
favorite 38
comment 7
"The Fighting Lady," directed by William Wyler, provides a portrait of life on a World War II aircraft carrier, a vessel that is "enormous, wonderful, and strange to us." After profiling the various activities of the soldiers' day and following the ship's voyage through the Panama Canal, the film takes the audience through a litany of actual combat engagements. The Fighting Lady participates in a strike on the Marcus Islands, then defends itself against a surprise nighttime...
favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 7 reviews )
Cinemocracy
by John Ford
movies
eye 224,084
favorite 41
comment 10
"The Battle of Midway," directed by John Ford, provides a relatively brief account of the Japanese attack of American ships at Midway atoll. The film is comprised mostly of authentic footage from the battle, with dramatic narration by Henry Fonda. "Behind every cloud, there may be an enemy," he intones as American fighter pilots search the sky. The rest of the film mocks Emporer Tojo of Japan and portrays him as ruthless, bombing hospitals and churches as he tries to conquer...
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 10 reviews )
Cinemocracy
by William Wyler
movies
eye 169,179
favorite 45
comment 9
"The Memphis Belle," directed by William Wyler, is a tribute to the crew of the United States Air Force's 324th Squadron, 91st Heavy Bomber Unit, an airplane more familiarly known as the Memphis Belle. At the beginning of the film, the Belle's crew had successfully completed twenty-four missions in the toughest theater of the air war in Europe, flying bombing raids deep into Nazi territory. Cameras accompany the Belle on its twenty-fifth mission. If the crew returns with its mission...
favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 9 reviews )
Cinemocracy
by Frank Capra
movies
eye 124,057
favorite 20
comment 2
"The Battle of Russia," Chapter V of Frank Capra's "Why We Fight" series, follows the beginning of the end for Adolph Hitler. Part One shows how the Nazi regime, frustrated by the tenacity of British resistance, sets its sights on the Soviet Union instead. As it follows the Nazi march into Russian territory, the film provides a brief summary of the attempts of foreign powers to invade Russia over the past seven hundred years. It explains why the country is such a hot prize...
favoritefavorite ( 2 reviews )
Cinemocracy
by Frank Capra
movies
eye 112,510
favorite 28
comment 4
"The Battle of Russia," Chapter V of Frank Capra's "Why We Fight" series, follows the beginning of the end for Adolph Hitler. In Part Two, the German army falls victim to the Soviet scorched-earth strategy. The Russian forces flee from the start, retreating deep into their homeland, drawing the Nazis farther and farther away from the German border. As the Red Army falls back, it destroys infrastructure and natural resources, making it difficult for the Nazi army to live off...
favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 4 reviews )
Cinemocracy
by Frank Capra
movies
eye 109,229
favorite 65
comment 16
"The Nazis Strike," Chapter II of Frank Capra's "Why We Fight" series, summarizes Adolph Hitler's plan for world conquest and Germany's full scale preparation in pursuit of this end. While the Nazis plead poverty and pacifism, they spend incredible amounts of money to prepare a war machine of unparalleled strength and destructive capability. While Hitler assures the other leaders of the world he has no interest in promoting National Socialism, he begins "softening...
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 16 reviews )
Cinemocracy
by Frank Capra
movies
eye 103,122
favorite 40
comment 3
"Prelude to War," Chapter I of Frank Capra's "Why We Fight" series, describes World War II as a battle between the "slave world" of fascism and the "free world" of American liberty. In the "slave world," the entire populations of Germany, Italy and Japan have been hoodwinked by madmen, opportunists who capitalized on their people's desperation and weakness to rise to power. These demagogues promised revenge for past losses, and in the process...
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 3 reviews )
Cinemocracy
by Frank Capra
movies
eye 57,369
favorite 30
comment 8
"The Battle of Britain," Chapter IV of Frank Capra's "Why We Fight" series, begins after Hitler's conquest of Western Europe. Once firmly in control of the parts of France and Norway closest to Great Britain, the Nazis commence their massive air assault on the British isles. Outnumbered six to one, the fighters of the Royal Air Force defend their skies against the Luftwaffe for close to four months. Capra embellishes the British successes, for example the film claims the RAF...
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 8 reviews )
Cinemocracy
by Frank Capra
movies
eye 41,694
favorite 16
comment 2
"The Battle of China," Chapter VI of Frank Capra's "Why We Fight" series, explains why the Empire of Japan possessed such a strong interest in ruling the disparate lands of China. In an attempt to break the will of the Chinese people in one massive assault, Japan invades Nanking and massacres forty thousand civilians. The attack results in an opposite effect, galvanizing the Chinese resistance and unifying the separate lands into a single Chinese identity. While the Japanese...
favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 2 reviews )
Cinemocracy
by Frank Capra
movies
eye 37,940
favorite 26
comment 6
"Divide and Conquer," Chapter III of Frank Capra's "Why We Fight" series, begins with Britain and France's declaration of war on Germany after Hitler's invasion of Poland. The film covers the Nazi capture of Denmark and Norway, steps necessary to mount a future attack on Britain, then describes in detail Hitler's strategy as he conquers Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands. Special attention is paid to Nazi atrocities. Dead and injured children are shown en masse and the...
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 6 reviews )
Cinemocracy
by Frank Capra
movies
eye 35,596
favorite 23
comment 3
"War Comes to America," Chapter VII of Frank Capra's "Why We Fight" series, begins by celebrating the American values of liberty and freedom that are threatened by the aggressive forces of Germany and Japan. The early years of the war are seen from the perspective of the United States, with particular focus on the reluctance of the American people to get involved in a European or Asian conflict. As the German army rolls across Europe, Nazi organizations spring up across the...
favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 3 reviews )
Cinemocracy
by John Ford
movies
eye 26,755
favorite 18
comment 5
"December 7th," directed by John Ford, begins with the aftermath of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, nicknamed "the Navy's hundred million dollar fist." Authentic footage of the invasion is mixed with reenactments to provide a complete portrait of the events of that fateful day. An extended sequence pays tribute to the American soldiers killed in the attack, many of whom are individually profiled, complete with testimonials offered by surviving family members. American...
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 5 reviews )
Cinemocracy
by John Huston
movies
eye 26,174
favorite 11
comment 3
"Report from the Aleutians," directed by John Huston, follows the daily life of American soldiers serving in the Aleutian Islands, which extend in sequence off the shores of Alaska. Despite being cold, barren, and generally disagreeable, the Aleutians held military bases of immense strategic value in the Pacific theater of World War II. The film describes the geographic importance of the islands, and provides a portrait of daily wartime operations, such as attack planning and bombing...
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 3 reviews )